Shing-Tung Yau is the William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. He has been awarded a Fields Medal, a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize in Mathematics, the Crafoord Prize, the Veblen Prize, and other honors. Steve Nadis is a science writer and contributing editor to Astronomy and Discover magazines.
The book is an unexpectedly intimate look into a highly accomplished man, his colleagues and friends, the development of a new field of geometric analysis, and a glimpse into a truly uncommon mind. -Nina MacLaughlin, Boston Globe For decades, mathematician Shing-Tung Yau-a winner of the 1982 Fields Medal-has been central to the cross-fertilization between modern mathematics and physics. His work in geometry, for instance, underlies much of string theory. This volume, co-authored with science writer Steve Nadis, is an intimate account of Yau's life -Barbara Kiser, Nature An eye-opening and insightful account . . . Yau's life story is an inspiring example of the power education. -Dan Eady, South China Morning Post Finalist in the PROSE Awards mathematics category, sponsored by the Association of American Publishers Yau and Nadis's The Shape of a Life opens a window into the fascinating mind and world of today's equivalent of Apollonius of Perga, 'The Great Geometer' of antiquity. -Mario Livio, author of Brilliant Blunders The interesting life of a remarkably influential modern mathematician. -Juan Maldacena, Institute for Advanced Study This book tells a fascinating story of a life lived between multiple cultures-China and the West, and mathematics and physics. Yau's journey from poverty in Hong Kong to the top levels of the mathematics world was not a simple one. -Edward Witten, Institute for Advanced Study Candid, deep, and truly inspiring, The Shape of a Life is studded with unexpected insights into Yau's thinking. An extraordinary story about an extraordinary person. -Gish Jen, author of The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap The remarkable story of one of the world's most accomplished mathematicians, Shing-Tung Yau, who has made profound contributions in pure mathematics, general relativity, and string theory. Yau's personal journey-from escaping China as a youngster, leading a gang outside Hong Kong, becoming captivated by mathematics, to making breakthroughs that thrust him on the world stage-inspires us all with humankind's irrepressible spirit of discovery. -Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe